There can really be no productive discussion of Aiki in MMA (or Aiki in anything) with so many differing views of what Aiki is - there is just no single point of reference to use as a baseline in the discussion.
As I was reading some of the last posts in this thread, I was thinking about why the differences exist. After I read Mark's post about the 'Secret', things started to become clear. Aiki is a skill that can be taught and learned, but it was not taught to all, if it was, it would not be a secret
So how best to hide a secret? let's just place it in plain sight
To do that, the holders of the secret probably came up with two meaning of aiki that were close enough in context to be logically used in the same conversation but having two entirely different meanings, with the public meaning of aiki being morphed into some form of concept, principle, or philosophy and the private real meaning of the aiki skill was not discussed outside the group that knew the secret. As public conversation and belief of Aiki drifted more away from the real meaning, I am sure the holders of the secret were very pleased and did nothing to stop the drift
Of course, I have absolutely no evidence to support this conspiracy theory, but it does make for entertaining thought